News 25’s 25 Teams in 25 Days: Moss Point Tigers
Back in February, the Moss Point football program hosted its biggest signing day ceremony in at least ten years, compromised of what came to be known as the core four.
But the Tigers bring back almost everybody else for the 2021 campaign which means the expectations haven’t changed a bit at stop number 24 on News 25’s 25 Teams in 25 Days.
Head Coach W. Eugene Harmon said, “Going into the summer and even last spring, we were like, who are we going to put at quarterback? Because right now Larry is our number one receiver but we’re looking at, if we can’t get him the ball, we might as well put him at quarterback and let him touch the ball every time, so it was kind of an easy decision.”
Stepping in to fill Moss Point’s void at quarterback upon the graduation of three-year starter Deuce Lee II is a guy that’s attempted all of ten passes throughout his varsity career. Paging three-star wide receiver Larry Simmons. “I’ve got a little something on me, I can throw it a little bit. I’m just doing what my coaches and teammates need me to do. Whether it’s receiver, running back, quarterback.”
How about all of the above. The top receiver in the state according to 24/7 Sports, Simmons already has 105 career receptions for more than 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns. The senior also has four career rushing touchdowns and three career passing TDs so whenever and however the ball is in his hands, something good always seems to happen. “Just when he touches it. Every time he touches it, it’s a wow factor. I mean you never know what’s going to happen.”
Center Breland Curry said,”That’s my guy right there. He knows that whenever he touches the ball, I expect him to do big things. I expect us to be able to go to him when we’re down, so when he gets the ball, I’m right behind him.”
Believe it or not, Simmons has even more division I offers, 14, than he does positions, having been committed to Ole Miss since late January. “One of the first ones here, one of the last ones to leave. Always in the weight room, always working on his craft. It just shows you by his commitment to Ole Miss, what kind of player and what type of commitment he is as a football player.”
“I’m just being really humble about it, but just at the end of the day, you’ve got to remember who you’re doing this stuff for, whether it’s your mom or your brother, your sisters, it’s just your family, just remember who you’re doing it for.”
And of course, doing it for Moss Point, fresh off its ninth straight playoff appearance and second consecutive region 8 class 4A championship in which the Tigers posted an overall record of 6-3 and a perfect district mark of 4-0. “It’s been good for the school, knowing that we’re making progress, so that’s just one step closer to the bigger goal.”
But the Tigers only have one playoff win to show for it during that two-year run, losing to Lawrence County in the first-round last year by just one point. “Basically, one play away from continuing in the playoffs last year after starting out with a very slow start in the first half in that Lawrence County game last year, and at the end of the game, had a chance to win it. Instead of tying it up, we decided to go for two on a play that we’ve believed in. It’s one of those life lessons that they did learn. You do everything right, and sometimes it just doesn’t turn out in your favor.”
“That’s not going to happen again this year. I mean we’ve got it this year. We’re really looking forward to going and getting that ring.”
With five gold balls in program history, Moss Point is always ring chasing for that spot on the wall. Despite losing a lot of star power from a year ago, the Tigers still have the team to end their 21-year drought, led by 16 returning starters, eight on each side of the ball, and a 23-member senior class of 2022, the largest of the Coach Harmon era. “The great thing about this senior class, it’s kind of ironic, my first year in the school district, they were in the second grade and I was their P.E. teacher, so when I saw right then, I said I knew right then, dang, this is going to be a special class right here.”
“Just going out with a bang. Hoping that we can leave a legacy for the Class of 2022, just everybody knowing what we did our senior year.”
“We’re just letting them know, like let this year be the year. No redos. There’s no redos, so we’ve got to make this year count.”
Another big name for Moss Point this season is junior defensive lineman and future division I signee Jamarious Brown who wasn’t at this particular practice.
The Tigers motto once again this year is the six Cs: committed, consistent, competitive cultivation creates champions.
They kick off the season on Friday at home against D’Iberville.